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My Picks for the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club Show

February 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Dog Activities and Training, Featured Articles

preparing a Yorkie for a dog show

The Westminster Kennel Club Show is coming. Are you ready?

So exciting!  THE dog show of all shows will be telecast February 13th and 14th from Madison Square Garden in New York City.  As I have in the past, I’ll go out on a limb and choose the dogs I think will end up in the winner’s ring, if for no other reason than to allow you to laugh at how wrong I was when the real judges tell us who wins.

I’ll give you my top three dogs in each group here, then I’ll be live-blogging during the event and will pick a Best in Show from among the actual group winners.  To get to the Best in Show judging, each dog needs to win his or her breed competition, then win the group.  Although the breed judging is not typically televised, the group shows will be shown as follows:

  • Monday, February 13:  8 – 9 pm on USA Network, then 9 – 11 pm on CNBC for the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding groups.
  • Tuesday, February 14:  8 – 11 pm on USA Network for the Sporting, Working, and Terrier Groups, followed by the Best in Show judging.

Remember, CH means the dog has earned enough show points to be designated as a Champion, while GCH means that a Grand Championship has been achieved.

The Hound Group

My favorite group goes first!  I think one of these three dogs will proceed to Best in Show:  an Afghan, a 13-inch Beagle, or a Bloodhound.

GCH Thaon’s Mowgli took Best of Breed in the Afghan ring at last year’s Westminster show.  This beautiful black dog is the son of Am CH Thaon’s Wannadance and Am CH Thaon’s Cybil, and was named by Canine Chronicle as the top Afghan Hound in the United States in both 2010 and 2011.  In 2010, he took second in the Canine Chronicle’s All Breed list.  In addition, he won Best Bred by Exhibitor in the Hound Group at the 2011 AKC/Eukanuba National Championships.  Quite an impressive resume!

GCH CH Barrister’s Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, who goes by the call name Carat, is a tri-color 13-inch Beagle.  She was bred by Betsy Manifold and Dennis Dollar in Escondido, California where she was born in October, 2009.  She is co-owned by Betsy Manifold and Shawn Robblee.  Carat has most recently won Best of Breed at the San Fernando Kennel Club and at the Kennel Club of Palm Springs.

GCH CH Flessner’s International Harvester, better known as Harvey, is a beautiful Black and Tan Bloodhound out of CH Bacchus du Noble Limier and CH Jo-Li’s Uncommon Treasure.  At nearly four years old, Harvey stands 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 140 pounds, and is described as having a “wonderful, playful personality.”  He earned his Grand Championship in July of 2010.

The Toy Group

Coming right after the big ole’ hounds, these dogs will look especially tiny.  This group includes breeds like the Havanese, Maltese, Min Pin, Papillon, Pekingese, and Yorkie.  Many of them would make great floor mops!   My picks for the top three are a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a Pomeranian, and a Pug.

GCH CH Sheeba Mark Twain  is such a cute little brown and white Cavalier!  One would think his call name would be Marky-Mark, but no, it’s Tom Tom.  (Go figure.)  His sire is CH Sheeba Emerald King and his dam is CH Sheeba Over the Rainbow.  He won Best in Show at the All Breed competition at Monmouth Kennel Club in May, 2011, competing with over 1600 other dogs.

Born in August, 2009, GCH CH Dreamweavers Dirty Dancing is a Pomeranian with attitude!  Called by the name of Johnny, this dog was ranked # 4 in the country in 2011.  He took Winner’s Dog and Best of Winners in seven shows in 2010 to achieve his championship points.  Johnny was bred by the sister/brother team of Linda Pelz and Michael Wells, who breed primarily for their own show dogs, but occasionally have a few dogs for sale such as 6-year old Tango.

Anybody remember the old Bruce Hornsby song that went “that’s just the way it is…some things will never change.”  Maybe that’s what led Kent Meyer and Sheila Kessler of Kenshei Pugs to this dog’s name.  Better known as Walter, GCH Kenshei’s That’s the Way It Is, is the breeders’ first grand champion.  Walter earned his championship at the tender age of 11 months.  He is owned by Martha Feltenstein and shown by Diego Garcia, and Walter earned an Award of Merit at last year’s Westminster show.

The Non-Sporting Group

The Bulldog, the Shar-Pei, the Boston Terrier, the Dalmation, and the Poodle are all part of the Non-Sporting Group.  Which ones will you see called out as winners?  I’m betting on a Bichone Frise, a Chow-Chow, and a Shiba Inu.

In another bow to the music world, GCH Dognews Got to Get You Into My Life is a snow white Bichon from MiaBella Bichons in Richmond, Texas.  Answering to the name of Phil (not Ringo, John, Paul, or George), he is owned by Sheryl L. Kapella and Kyojng-Soo Shin.  His parents are CH Dognews of Jack FCI and CH Risgae’s International Affair. 

I love it when a dog’s call name is cleverly related to his registered name.  Check this out:  GCH CH Dreamland’s American Revolution  answers to the name of Jefferson.  Is that not too cute?  (For those of you who aren’t from the USA, Thomas Jefferson wrote our Declaration of Independence and was the 3rd President of the United States.)  But I digress.  This beautiful lion-dog was invited to compete at the 2010 AKC Eukanuba National Championship and won Best Bred by Exhibitor award before he even reached the age of 14 months.

GCH CH Fanfair’s Without a Trace at Glenchester, more familiarly known as Tracer, was ranked the #3 Shiba Inu in the country in 2011.  His parents are CH Akio Chousei Sou Morningstar and CH Fanfair’s Esprit d’Corps at Euber, and he was bred at Glenchester Kennels in Vandalia, Ohio.  He has multiple Best in Show wins in the UK and won an Award of Merit at the 2009 Westminster show.

The Herding Group

The hard-working herders include a wide assortment of cattle dogs, shepherds, and sheep dogs, but I think we’ll see an Australian Shepherd, a Rough Collie, and a Sheltie at the top of this group.

GCH CH Myshara’s Dream Girl truly is a dream.  She’s a beautiful tri-color Australian Shepherd out of CH Starswept’s High Flying at Hisaw and Briarbrook’s I’m Too Sexy.  Owned by Sharon Fontanini, “Beyonce” took Best of Breed last year at Westminster.

GCH CH Sylvan Argent It’s All About Me is a Rough Coated Collie, apparently with expensive tastes since her call name is Gucci.  The same honey-colored tan as Lassie, Gucci is the daughter of CH Sylvan’s Above and Beyond and CH Argent Hot Hot Hot.

GCH CH Kylene Eden the Dragonslayer, better known as Thomas, comes to the Garden from beautiful Mobile, Alabama out of CH Halstor Cindahope Trueheart and CH Eden Lakesides’s Advantage.  He has 18 Best in Show wins and 445 Best of Breed wins.

Sporting Group

This group consists of the dogs used in hunting, primarily spaniels, retrievers, setters, and pointers.  Although I am partial to Vizslas, I didn’t include one in my top three.  (sad face).  Instead, I look for a Flat Coated Retriever, a Golden Retriever, and a Weimaraner to take the top three spots.

GCH CHValhala Born on the 4th of July really was born on Independence Day, in 2007.  This Flat-Coated Retriever answers to the name of Cruise.  (Get it?  Tom Cruise starred in the movie Born on the 4th of July.)  His parents are CH Grousemoor Frozen In Time and CH Valhala Angel Of Hawknest, and he was bred by Lori Nicolosi & Marla Doheny in Madison, CT.

GCH CH Gemini Fallchase The Butler Did It, answers to the name of Cody.  He was named the Number One Golden Retriever in 2011 in both Breed and All-Breed.  Check out Cody’s Facebook page.

GCH CH Northwoods Send Money Honey is better known as Schatze, after the gold-digger Schatze Page in the movie How to Marry a Millionaire.  This dog keeps piling up the wins, with one of her judges even saying, “This is a dog that could run all day in the field.  This is what a Weimaraner should look like!”  Watch her win 1st place at the Howard County Dog Show in 2010.

The Working Group

GCH CH Kontoki’s A Bend in the Road comes running when you yell for Benson.  He is bred, owned, and handled by Thomas Oelschlager, who has eight Best in Breed winners at previous Westminster shows.  Tommy O knows Huskies, and he has this to say about Benson:  “[He] is the absolute sun that greets me each and every morning when my eyes open. He is my 24 hour constant companion, and those close to me can publicly attest to that statement.  Everyday, he fills my eyes and mind with his love for life and all that surrounds him, his love to learn and his love of me.
I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed showing any of my dogs as much as I have presenting “Benson” to the fancy.”
Gamegard’s Rhythm of the Rain goes by the name of Cadey.  She won Best of Opposite Sex at both the 2010 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship and the 2011 Westminster show.  Cadey is a little younger than many of the other invitees to this year’s show.  She was born in December of 2008, out of CH Gamegard’s Chisum and CH Kreeksides ZippityDoDa.  Look for her to be handled by Jessy Sutton.

GCH CH Pouch Cove’s Head of State will be competing with the Newfoundlands.  It must be the year to honor our third President, as this dog is also known as Jefferson.  He has won Best in Show on 13 occasions, and Specialty Best of Breeds  at 14 shows.  Jefferson was even featured in Newf Tide as the Top Producing Sire of 2008.

The Terrier Group

Last but not least, we come to the mighty Terriers.  Look for a Norwich, a Scottie, and a Skye to come out on top.

Norwich Terrier  GCH CH Foxwood Chasing A Dream answers to the name of Dreamer.  This little cutie took the 1st Award Of Excellence, Best Bred-By, and A Bred-By Group 4 at the 2011 Eukanuba International Championship Show.  Breeder Kathy Mines says that Dreamer “exemplifies the true working terrier with great reach and drive, covering ground with a purpose.”

Continuing our salute to music, GCH CH Mcvan’s Sentimental Journey is a Scottie with a beautiful wheat-colored coat.  Although Frankie was shown only on a limited basis in 2011, he ended the year as one of the top five Scottish Terriers in both breed and group points.

GCH CH Gleanntan Glindathegoodwitch, AKA Glinda has the characteristic silky black coat of the Skye Terrier.  She is the first female Skye to have won a Grand Championship.  She’s a little older than many of her co-competitors, having been born in August of 2004.  She took Best of Opposite Sex honors at Westminster in 2010 and 2011.

So, there you have it!  Tune in to the big show February 13th and 14th, and keep checking our blog for instant updates as each breed group is judged.  (Keep a copy of this article handy so you can see how I did with my predictions!)

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  1. […] out my picks in the new issue of our bi-weekly newsletter,  Straight Poop, and feel free to comment below on who you think will […]



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